Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand hailed the performance of Paul Pogba during France’s 1-0 World Cup semi-final victory over Belgium last night.
While Pogba didn’t really impact last night’s game very much with the ball at his feet, but he put in a display of real maturity and tactical discipline that helped Les Blues withstand some heavy Belgian pressure late on.
So often since the 25-year-old returned to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016 – for a then World Record fee of £89 million – he has seemed more preoccupied with attempting flicks and tricks that helping his team. However last night in Saint Petersburg, he put in a valiant defensive shift – especially when tracking Manchester United team-mate Marouane Fellaini’s runs into the area.
“Yes, I think (Kylian) Mbappe was great,” Ferdinand told the BBC.
“But also, Paul Pogba today showed why he went for so much money.
“His discipline, which he’s been called out for beforehand, seemed to come into play.
“There’s an understanding about his game, a maturity today in this game.
“Not just today, but in this tournament he’s grown and grown and grown.
“He emerged out of this game as the midfielder on the pitch.”
France will now face the winner of Croatia against England in the World Cup final in Moscow next Sunday.